The use of natural ingredients in skincare in Africa can be traced back to thousands of years ago. In Egypt, ancient Egyptians took very care of their bodies using olive oil, sesame oil, bitter almonds and castor oil to moisturize their skin and help keep their hair healthy. Queen Cleopatra, the famous for bathing in milk and honey to help keep her skin soft and youthful.
At Lovinah Skincare, many of our product formulas goes back to Ancient African traditions and rituals. Our cleansing balm, facial mask, facial elixir, rose water mist and body oil are based on an ancient ritual for purifying the skin, anointing the body with oil and maintaining a healthy glow.
Here are some ancient African rituals to give your skin a youthful and healthy glow.
African Black soap
If you are keen on natural skin care products, you must have heard about African black soap that is taking the world by storm. This soap has been around for centuries, and it’s extracted from the ash of plants and it can also be made from the skin of sweet potatoes, or cocoa pods’ ash.
African women would make this soap by hand, first by drying out the leaves in the sun then roasting them in a pot. To make it more interesting, they would add water, Shea butter and natural oils like coconut and palm oil in the brewing leaves, stir and allow to set for a couple of weeks.
African black soap gained its popularity due to its exfoliating properties. It has loads of minerals, vitamins A&E, which not only leaves your skin feeling rejuvenated but also smooth and very healthy, when used regularly.
It’s also used in treating eczema, and eliminating dark spots and blemishes. If you have oily skin, this soap is perfect for you as it will gradually restore your skin’s PH balance, prevent dry patches and limit the appearance of stretch marks.
African black soap is found in our Black Tea Mask to help rejuvenate the skin and eliminate skin blemishes
There is nothing worse than having dry, itchy or scaling skin. It can be so irritating and make your skin age faster, right before your eyes. African women use Neem oil, extracted from the Neem tree, which grows in South Africa, and is well known not only for its medicinal and beautifying properties, but also for its garlic aroma which makes it a perfect essential oil. The neem seeds are carefully stored, then cold pressed to produce the oil.
This oil is used to alleviate itching skin, act as a powerful skin moisturizer to heal eczema or psoriasis and for those suffering from acne or oily skin.
Ever wondered what Ancient Africans used as deodorants to keep sweaty armpits at bay? This is one of North Africa’s best kept secret. The alum stone has numerous other benefits too. They used it for shaving, hair removal, to heal canker soles and cracked heels and for lice treatment. This magical stone also has anti-aging benefits, and is known to tighten skin and get rid of wrinkles, as well as treating pimples.
Lemons were used by Ancient Africans for all sorts of beauty treatments. To start with, they extracted lemon juice and used it as a natural skin lightening remedy in the dark areas of their skin, mainly the elbows and knees.
Additionally, lemon juice was used to whiten teeth and on hair to provide natural highlights since they did not have artificial dyes at the time. Due to their antibacterial properties, lemons were also used for facial cleansing and toning, as well as eliminating black heads.
Most people who cannot afford to splurge on expensive skin care products today result to using lemons as a natural skin treatment, so this ancient ritual still lives on.
Whenever you think of Egyptian beauty secrets, Cleopatra comes to mind, and you can’t help but wonder what the secret behind her beauty was.
Well, henna is an ancient Egyptian beauty treatment she was well known for. It comes from dried plants, which are mixed to produce different shades of dye. Henna was popular for so much more than just skin detailing and body art, especially during weddings and other celebrations. Egyptian women would dye their hair to maintain its natural sheen and promote growth, as it strengthens the hair from the roots.
What’s more? You can use henna as an herbal treatment, to condition your nails, or as a natural nail polish, because of its gorgeous yellow or orange hues.
It’s no secret that Ethiopian women are renowned for their timeless beauty. What you may not know, however, is that despite their beauty being genetic, there a few beauty secrets they have kept over the years that have gone a long way in preserving their looks.
Qasil, is a powder extracted from the leaves of the gob tree, mainly used as a natural face mask for its cleansing and exfoliating properties. The powder also helps in moisturizing the skin and maintaining a balanced complexion.
Ethiopian women also used Qasil to remove dry patches on their skin, and smoothing wrinkles, making it a necessary beauty ritual for those seeking to stay ageless.
This precious powder was also applied on the hair, on a weekly basis acting as hair conditioner and an herbal treatment to remove dandruff.
This is one of those ancient African beauty rituals that is still being used to date. It’s a key beauty regimen to Northern African women, who still use it on a daily basis, not only for purification, but also as a chance to bond.
The ritual involves covering up with beldi soap, which is a gel-like mixture extracted from olive oil or Argan oil. The soap acts as a full body mask, and as the women steam, it’s gradually absorbed into the body. Next, they use ‘kessa’, which acts as an exfoliating mitt to clean out their pores and remove any dead skin on their bodies.
The Hammam ritual has certain vital benefits apart from the exfoliating and removing dead skin. It helps get rid of any rashes on the body, softens and fully hydrates the skin and helps remove any ingrown hairs. Moreover, it boosts the circulation of blood in the body, helps you relax your nerves and muscles and helps you manage stress and anxiety.
There are so many African beauty secrets that are yet to find their way to the modern beauty scene. We have listed a few popular ancient rituals, most of which are still being practiced, not only in the African countries, but the around world. These natural treatments are perfect for the nourishment of your skin, nails and hair, contains amazing healing properties. If you like natural skincare ingredients, you will definitely find most of the natural remedies useful.